Rule #6: Playing the Odds – with Jen Rubio, Digital Innovation + Entrepreneur
Question: How did you get where you are today – and what tips would you give others hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Jen Rubio: I started out as an analyst at a massive company, Johnson & Johnson, and became passionate about social media in my personal life. I decided to channel that passion into my job, and eventually left corporate life to become a social media consultant. At the time, very few people even knew what that meant. I wound up with some big-name clients and worked on the agency-side, before moving to Warby Parker. After some incredible years at Warby Parker working on social media and marketing, I moved to London to build a global digital innovation team for AllSaints, a fashion retailer.
My advice? Don’t accept the idea that you’re set in a certain path. With each move in my career, I followed what I was good at, combined with what I was passionate about. It made for a completely untraditional career path with very natural progressions. Now, I’m starting my own company, which has been a longtime dream of mine.
Q: What does being courageous in life and business mean to you?
JR: Being courageous is a matter of dealing with things with grace, confidence, and certainty, instead of panic, anxiety, and dread. It’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with it.
Q: Describe “playing the odds” in your own words. What are ways in which you have exemplified this rule in your life or career?
JR: I’m not on board with the term “playing the odds.” I truly believe risk is minimized if you’re following what you’re good at and what makes you happy; it’s hard to end up in the wrong place.
Q: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in life or business and what did you learn from it?
JR: I turned down a big opportunity because the culture was all wrong. In hindsight, it doesn’t feel like a big risk at all—which just emphasizes how important it is to go with your gut and your values.
Q: What’s something no one ever tells people about what it takes to succeed?
JR: You need to pick your battles. Not everything is of equal importance or difficulty, and you can easily waste tons of time and energy on the wrong things if you’re not careful.
Q: What’s the surest way to innovate and stay ahead of the curve whether you’re a working professional, business, or even renowned thought leader?
JR: Know that there’s so much more to know. Be insatiably curious and talk to everyone about everything—not just people in your field, about things in your industry. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas from seemingly random conversations.
How have you played the odds in your career? Use the hashtag#MakingChange to share your stories with us and find them on makechangeworkforyou.com/blog.